Yesterday I received the sad news that my missions professor from my time in seminary, Paul Beals, had passed into the presence of our Lord. He leaves behind his adoring wife, Vivian. I don’t know what word to use here, for “adoring” or “devoted” are far too weak to describe their marriage. You will be hard pressed to find a couple who lovingly cared for each other more, and Paul’s death leaves me extremely sad for his dear wife.
My friend Chris Brauns, who was two years ahead of me in seminary, wrote his recollection of Dr. Beals and his ministry in his life. If you read it, I’m sure you’ll remember some former teacher who made a similar impact on your life, and you will be challenged to do the same for someone else.
What I treasure most about Dr. Beals is his very tender heart. He couldn’t speak about the people he served in Africa without tears, and though it wasn’t in his syllabus, he taught me that nothing is more important than the final destiny of lost people. I understand why seminary missions programs are often renamed “intercultural studies,” but let us never forget the ultimate reason for these studies. I thank God for Paul Beals, who never would let us forget.